USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge to Reward African Businesses with $250k

The USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge seeks proposals from women and youth to support the development and growth of their businesses.

The program is designed to invest in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that:


  • Tackle Africa’s bulging youth by prioritizing job creation to improve youth productivity and livelihoods
  • Economically empowering youth and women to apply business solutions to social problems and create sustainable employment across Africa
  • Addresses unmet needs of underserved and high-risk communities and/or market demand
  • Formalize market opportunities and supply chain links for youth and women-owned SMEs


Applicants have the potential to receive the following benefits:

  • Grant capital of US$50,000 to US$250,000 from USADF
  • Access to intensive local technical assistance and managerial support
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  • The company must be 100% owned and operated by Africa
  • Passports or other government-issued IDs of all owners and senior managers must be submitted with applications
  • If the applicant entity is wholly or partly owned by another entity, passports or other government-issued identity documents of the owners must also be provided
  • The applicant entity must be a for-profit corporation and must not be owned, operated or affiliated in any way with any government
  • Applicants may be developers of their own technology and/or may acquire and implement technology developed elsewhere
  • Applicants must be legally registered in Africa and demonstrate their ability to track and manage the project resources and in good standing with the local authorities in which they operate
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Winning proposals must:

  • Develop, scale up or expand the use of proven solutions/technologies for societal impact in Africa
  • Benefit of disadvantaged or low-income rural or urban populations
  • Demonstrate financial sustainability or the potential for financial sustainability
  • Suggest a budget of no more than US$250,000. Proposals with budgets over US$250,000 must leverage funding from one or more other sources that meet total funding requirements
  • Hedge funds from other private sector and donor sources are encouraged
  • Clearly show if and how many new jobs will be created
  • A business owned or run by women is a plus

Applications will only be considered if they:

  • Entity is 100% African owned, operated, registered and operates within Africa
  • Owners must present passports or other government-issued IDs proving citizenship has been filed
  • All shareholders, board members and senior management must be citizens of a sub-Saharan country
  • Clearly state how they will benefit disadvantaged populations across Africa, including demonstrable positive impacts for youth and women
  • Clearly indicate how they will achieve sustainable growth
  • Fully and legally registered in Africa, and the registration has been submitted
  • Document sufficient expertise in the area they are proposing or document how they will acquire the necessary expertise
  • Clearly document how they will use USADF grant capital to execute their concept
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How to apply?

To participate in the USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge, you must apply before the deadline on Friday, September 30, 2022.

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